Monday, September 7, 2009

FOOD CZAR REVIEW #55: FIN SUSHI & SAKE BAR & RESTAURANT

Neighborhood gems. What would the Dallas dining scene be without them? Woefully incomplete in my book. Sure, I know that both of my readers would love the thought of being able to dine at Stephan Pyles or Pappas Bros every week, if not every night. However, there are certain economic realities that most of us face, which is why Restaurant Week continues to thrive and expand every year. Besides, do you really relish the thought of driving to a destination restaurant every night of the week? I thought so. Most of us prefer to spend the bulk of our time searching for places close to home that serve excellent food and a measure of comfort in realizing that the drive home will not be a long one. Unfortunately, suburbia still continues to be dominated by chains, which are usually more wallet-friendly than palate-pleasing. Thus, it is exciting news indeed when a restaurant the quality of Fin Sushi & Sake Bar opens so close to mi casa, and my lovely wife the Rock Star and myself have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Now Open sign on its exterior. When it finally arrived, you can rest assured that we lost little time in judging the finished result for ourselves.

One caveat, however, before we continue. As of this writing, while the restaurant itself is indeed finished inside and out, construction on the nearby streets may be taking place. Not to mention the fact that there is no direct entrance from Windhaven and you will have to turn down the next side street heading west from the Tollway and drive around the back to find Fin. Press on, however, for once you find it, I believe you might agree that the results are worth the effort. Inside, you will most likely be greeted enthusiastically by the sushi chefs, as their domain is immediately to the left of the main entrance, while a faux-ice bar presided over by the genial Gaylan awaits you on the right. The interior is quite striking and the Japanese pop music will no doubt be pumping over the sound system. On our latest visit, we were seated on the patio which is an option to consider in the cooler fall evenings in the coming months.

Let me just begin my culinary assessment of Fin Sushi & Sake Bar by noting that the chefs plate their food quite marvelously indeed, and my beautiful bride was frequently taking photos with her trusty phone camera, as it was all quite lovely. There are, of course, many different types of dishes available at Fin, but my wife and myself are fresh fish fiends, and with the expansive fill-in-the-blank sushi form staring us quite boldly in the face, we felt as if we had no other choice. We began our most recent repast with Scottish smoked salmon sashimi eagerly touted by our waitress. Very fresh, at least to my tastebuds, and delightfully washed down by both Kirin Light beer and the nutty, warm house sake. (I must confess I'm becoming more and more of a fan of the rice wine brew these days, and I really must attend a sake tasting soon to broaden my horizons.) As I suggested earlier, budget considerations played a part in this evening's feast, but luckily the portions at Fin are rather generous, so we were quite sated by the sashimi and by the Tornado Roll which followed in due course. Tempura-fried and consisting of sumptuous yellowtail, eel, and fresh jalapenos (which were served on the side at my wife's request), this roll was one of the best I've had all year, and I look forward to future creations of the eager chefs. On this night, an additional round of brew took the place of dessert quite nicely, thank you.

Service is very attentive, and Gaylan the bartender even pitched in to make sure we had plenty of water. Unfortunately, he also confirmed that their website is still a work in progress; the URL will be www.finsakebar.com, but if you log on, it may or may not be fully operational at this time. More good news, however, is the fact that Fin is open until 2am on weekends, should you need a latenight fish fix.

Overall, Fin Sushi & Sake Bar and Restaurant is certainly worthy of neighborhood gem status, and just might pay dividends for you if you care to drive in from hither and yon. Sample Fin's pretty-as-a-picture sushi soon, and remember:

LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR MEDIOCRE FOOD!!!

2 comments:

Margie said...

I would be so happy to have a sushi place near us!

Food Czar said...

I agree, Margie, especially one as good as Fin!